Shifting snow and medical issues.......
Over the last month all I feel like I have been doing is clearing snow, either with a shovel or with the snow blower. It was nice initially to use the big snow shovel that you push but then the sides got so deep that you couldn’t easily get it up to dump the snow, so I had to get the snow blower out. So glad I repaired it towards the end of last year as it has had a lot of use. Within the last week it has warmed up and in just a couple of days I would say around half the snow has gone.
There have been a few medical issues with some of the alpacas. Aggie’s eye flared up again and after some steroid drops began to calm down, but I noticed that it appeared cloudy in the eye, and I now think she is starting with a cataract in her eye. Karla began walking strangely with her rear legs, kicking them up and out behind her, I will admit it did look funny. When I had a look, she was very crusty and hard on the inside of her knees and had small red patches on her feet where she had lost fleece. It all looked like a mite related problem. Which was very surprising as both her mum and her dad and grandad have never had mite issues. Her grandmother (Lady V) used to occasionally have problems. I treated her with both Ivermectin injections and with Fipronil spray and it seems to be working.
More worrying was the discovery of a lump on Antonia’s jaw which usually means a tooth root abscess. I started her on daily penicillin injections for ten days and managed to get hold of a vet to come and x-ray her to make sure it was a tooth root abscess. In fact, it was two teeth side by side. Luckily, we had caught it early and there wasn’t a lot of bone involvement, not like when Aggie had hers, her X-ray looked like she had been shot in the jaw. After the ten days she moved onto a longer lasting penicillin, so needed an injection every three days. I gave her the first one and within a couple of minutes she stumbled and spread her back legs stood there groaning. I was panicking as the last time I saw an alpaca do this was with Estelle just before she died with heat stroke. Antonia was stretching her back and neck, seemed very wide eyed and was salivating. After about five minutes she began to come round. I have no idea why she reacted that way. It was very cold that day and I had the 7ml injection in my pocket and maybe it got too cold but it was a sub cutaneous injection not intra muscular. Vet wonders if I accidently hit a nerve or put the cold fluid into a vein. Just to be on the safe side in case it was an allergic reaction I was given some anti histamine and steroid injections by the vet to give if it happened again. I decided to test her and give her half a dose (3ml) on one day and another half dose the next day. I have never been so nervous giving an injection and sat and watched her for 20 mins. All seemed well, so three days later gave her a 3ml injection in the morning then another in the evening, again all seemed well. Then three days later gave her the full 7ml injection with no issues. She needs to have the penicillin for at least 6 to 8 weeks. The lump has certainly reduced in size and the went from a hard lump to being “squashy”, in fact there was s scab formed at the bottom which came off and I was expecting a lot of pus, but it was dry and is healing up.
It wasn’t just the alpacas requiring medical treatment, Joanna slipped on some ice and broke her wrist and has had to spend some time in hospital having a metal plate put in to support it. She didn’t just come back with a metal plate but also picked up a chest infection which she very kindly passed onto me. Last weekend I was supposed to be giving the alpacas their Vit D injections and cut toenails with Lelde helping. I had to cancel it and spent most of the day asleep. Next day I did feel better but not well enough to give the alpacas some hay which they desperately needed. This time it was Lelde and Rolands to the rescue, they came to give the alpacas hay, I was so relived and very grateful.
Aggie can be a bit of a pain at putting away time, she gets her tray first and by the time I have distributed the other trays she has finished and then goes and eats from Chanel’s tray which causes chaos. I came up with the idea of roping her in to stop her. I used a rope fastened to the wall with a hook on the other end and when I put down her tray, I grab the rope and fasten her in. She doesn’t challenge the rope, so it is much more peaceful in there now. Even Norman has his own tray now, he gets his next to his grandmother, Chanel, who likes to pinch a few mouthfuls from it.
Lolly looking forward to Spring, the days are getting longer and warmer.
View towards the garden 5th February.
View towards the garden 22nd February
View towards the garden 27th February.
View towards the garden 7th March.
Yes Marv, it was rather a lot of snow.
This is my "anti Aggie" device. It's a bit of rope fastened to the wall at one end and a hook on the other. At putting away time Aggie gets her tray first but as soon as she finished she would go and pinch Chanel's creating havoc. So now she gets fastened in and 99% of the time she waits till I let her out and does not challenge the rope. Makes things so much more peaceful.
This was Karla's rear legs showing the loss of fleece, she was very crusty on the inside of her knees but we hit her hard with mite treatment and the fleece seems to be growing back.
You tired Lolly?
Pathway to Vanessa's girls house.
Pathway from the girls back to the greenhouse, I like to make it wide enough so I can carry a bucket of water in each hand without them banging into the sides.
Pathway up to the boys.
Snow on the new caravan. Last week I dug a pathway to check inside, glad I did as when I went inside I noticed the roof was bowing due to the weight of snow. So I had to get a ladder and clear off the snow, seems OK now.
You really must go to bed earlier Lolly.
Now look what you have done, you have set Mari off yawning now!
You can see the lump on Antonia's jaw.
Looks even bigger from underneath.
This is Antonia's X-Ray, you can see the lump and there is a small amount of bone involvement. Just look how long those rear teeth are.
Then it began to warm up a bit, don't think the icicles were too happy about it.
Hey Lolly, I heard a rumour that Spring might be on it's way.
Here Aggie is praying to the great alpaca god to send an abundance of green grass.
Antonia adopts more of the foetal position.
Even Lolly is on her knees.
I am sure the great alpaca god must have heard you now Aggie.
My goodness, Lolly has exhausted herself with all that praying.
Alpacas are part of the Camelid family of animals which also includes the proper camels, Brencis here is showing the family likeness.
The snow was up to the top of the greenhouse walls, which are around 2m tall.
"Serious Silla", always looks very serious.
Love this "soft focus" photo of Karla.
Mr Tellus and George sharing the water bucket.
George will be six this year. Those lighter patches on his neck are patches of cream coloured fleece that grow much longer than the brown. They have only appeared in the last few years.
Looks like more snow is on its way.
The old, original alpaca house the first boys were in is " not long for this world", by the look of it.
Marvellous Marv lit by the afternoon sun.
Norman and his mum, Ilvija.
Amanda is leg deep in the snow. She is actually stood on the pathway I cleared, but it does give an impression of how deep it actually is.
Better view of the snow surrounding the greenhouse.
OK girls and boys, the snowbank cafe is now open.